Pankhurst Wines - Historyhistory

Pankhurst Wines is located on the rolling granite hills at Hall just to the north west of Canberra and nearby the Murrumbidgee River. At approximately 20 kilometres to the GPO, and near the ACT border, we are one of the closest vineyards to Canberra.

Tractor and Vineyard

Canberra District vineyards are gaining enormous profile for quality and a recognition for being a true area of boutique and friendly wineries. The quality has been exhibited in many capital and regional shows over the last ten years.

The Canberra District is generally known as "cool climate" in terms of wine styles. Our vineyard site and management practices are designed to make optimum use of the local climatic conditions. Cold air drainage down into the Murrumbidgee valley ensures little concern over the possibility of frost damage at critical times. Management practices are designed to assist this. The warm dry conditions of summer provide an ideal environment for vigorous growth. The most important feature of the local climate is the long fruit ripening period. Warm days and cool nights during autumn result in high acid to sugar ratios in the grape juice. This provides the basis for production of high quality wines with good cellaring potential.

Vineyard and House

Our Vineyard:

The vineyard spans some of the northern slopes of "Old Woodgrove", a part of the historic "Woodgrove" property, and takes advantage of the local microclimate and soil conditions. Soils are of weathered granite origin and of good depth. The previous use of the land for grazing has built up the organic levels in the soils, giving them good moisture holding characteristics. Although quite acid originally, soil treatments in preparation for planting have aimed at increasing the pH levels towards the more optimum for high quality grape production.

We have just over 12 acres of vineyard, the planting of which was spread between 1986 and 1999. The following table shows the area of each variety:

Variety Area (acres)
Pinot Noir 2.25
Cabernet Sauvignon 4.25
Merlot 0.40
Chardonnay 3.40
Sauvignon Blanc 0.70
Semillon 1.0
Total 12

Our vineyard has been established with modern and quality systems. The trellising system is highly innovative and is designed for high quality grape production and good yields.

Grapes in the vineyard

Our Wines:

Quality is the key in describing our approach to wines marketed under the Pankhurst label. We make wines only from fruit from our own vineyard. We aim to produce wines with good cellaring potential yet smooth and easy on the palate at an early age.

Our first Cabernet Merlot produced (1990) came second in the country in the Winewise Parkroyal Small Winemakers competition. We have gone on to earn medals and accolades each vintage.

We believe in using professionals to provide a professional result and thus, unlike many small family wine enterprises, we have our wines made by experts. Our winemaker for the Burgundy styles is Sue Carpenter, a well-known character in the District and a great winemaker. The more Bordeaux styles are made by Dr Roger Harris.

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